There’s a lot of interest and positive connotations around the word “psychopath”. People seem to think it’s a mandatory ‘trait’ in order to be successful, or that having no emotion and remorse is the only way to get ahead in life. Truth is, psychopathy is not a trait, it’s a hereditary condition. And you should all be grateful that you don’t suffer from it. You can’t ‘become’ a psychopath. If you’re really inclined, the closest you can get to becoming a psychopath is to turn into a sociopath, and they’re not the same. Before exploring psychopathic traits, here’s a contrast of psychopathy and sociopathy.
Brief difference between the two
Psychopaths have structural underdeveloped components in the parts of the brain responsible for emotions, impulses and feelings. They have the ability to feel zero guilt. Being steady and keeping composure, they have the ability completely dissociate feelings from actions. Psychopaths can function ordinarily; they can work a decent job, run a family and socialize effortlessly. Psychopaths exhibit deviant social behavior.
Sociopaths are a result of environmental problems, such as traumatic childhood, abusive parents or bad neighborhoods. They are impulsive and behave erratically. They can become angry and upset very easily, act out in association with feelings to the extent that it disallows them from maintaining a stable life, job & family. Sociopaths exhibit anti-social behavior.
If Psychopaths can dissociate themselves from feelings, then what drives their actions?
It depends on intelligence. High cognitive functioning psychopaths learn from their mistakes. They foresee the negative consequences to their actions and realize they are unable to function the ‘way they are’ and so their drive and motivation becomes adapting to society. Their discontinuation of immoral behavior is predicated on their innate human desire to survive, but also their intellectual capacity to realize that their survival will be short-lived if they do not keep their psychopathic condition under control and make adjustments on their behavior.
Furthermore, several studies show that psychopaths have higher levels of dopamine with increased activity in the reward system than ordinary people. This means just like an addict, their orientation in life is to attain goals in any form, that would stimulate this cognitive reward system. The lower the IQ/fluid intelligence, the more likely a psychopath would employ any means to achieve a reward, with no regard or critical thought to the consequences.
Good & Bad
So the key difference between a ‘good’ psychopath and a ‘bad’ psychopath, (i.e; non-criminal vs criminal) is impulse control. Now also keep in mind that psychopaths are very rare, making up 0.75%-1% of the population. And that high IQ individuals (130+) make up 2.2% of the population. Assuming you live in a place with an IQ population of ordinary distribution, then your chances of meeting a high IQ clinically-diagnosed psychopath is 0.02%.
The point here is, what you know about psychopaths is probably inaccurate as you have probably never encountered one in your life. That CEO is not a psychopath. The ruthless leader of a nation is not a psychopath. These people are simply in a position that demands them to make difficult choices, with all options accommodated by certain costs and damages. Their ability to make a choice despite the cost, is when people perceive them to be psychopathic, which is entirely inaccurate.
You are not a psychopath.
If you’re here on this blog to improve yourself, be taken seriously and become a better man of value, then you are not a psychopath. But the good news is, the components of what makes up a psychopath can be adopted. Psychopathic traits are on a spectrum. This means that some of us are less emotional, less compassionate and more callous. Depending on temperament, certain psychopathic traits can be voluntarily developed to improve or ‘refine’ emotions and feelings associated with actions.
Why develop psychopathic traits?
If ascension in life is embedded in your apex value, which it should be, then developing psychopathic traits can significantly increase your chances in attaining that aim. Because if your intention is to get ahead in life & rise above others in your line of work, you will be forced to work in a competitive field, not a cooperative one. Contest requires callous, deviant & cunning attributes to what the average person possesses. Not to necessarily win unfairly, but to protect yourself justly.
It’s a fairy tale to say that if you work hard, you will get to where you want to be. Competence sometimes is not enough in a competitive field. You need to equip yourself with a character that could do whatever it takes to accomplish an objective. Not necessarily should.
It is part of nature that there will be resentful, envious people waiting for the right moment to use dirty tactics to tear you down. The only way to deal with them is to employ their own methods to inflict the same amount of damage. Using psychopathic traits to get ahead comes at the cost of your integrity. But there’s not much incentive in upholding integrity with those who don’t have any. So this article is a disclaimer that the purpose of developing these traits is to employ it only on those willing to use them against you.
How do you develop psychopathic traits?
If I had to explain how an ordinary person could utilize psychopathy in one sentence, it would be something like;
The ability to keep your composure and charm an adversary, without exhibiting a reaction, for the purpose of cunningly manipulating them for your own benefit, without them realizing it until it is too late.
There’s several key concepts in this sentence.
- Keeping composure & charm despite confronting an adversary
- Showing no reactions despite the desire to do so
- Employing manipulation
- Stealth execution
There’s familiarity in this process that comes to mind; Shadow integration. A thorough understanding of your multiple personalities is necessary here. People who make you feel and manifest hate, resentment, envy and anger are all cases where you need to study those feelings and when they get triggered. The employment of psychopathic traits is LARGELY based on suppressing your emotions, while simultaneously manipulating and exploiting the emotions of others.
People think psychopaths have no association with empathy. This is not true. To put it simply, psychopaths lack empathy, but can effectively manipulate other people’s emotions. The lack of empathy does not prevent them from exploiting other people’s emotions as their portal to which they ‘conquer’ their victims. They manifest it themselves anytime at will, for objective selfish purposes.
An ordinary person can not lack empathy. But they can certainly stop exhibiting it. Its in fact ideal for men not to exhibit empathy and act compassionately; take action to alleviate someone’s suffering. Having empathy can turn you into a tool for others. Once you feel sorry for someone, its very easy to do their bidding.
You have to remember that the competitive field provides value on the basis of competence, not empathy. Empathetic people fail to make harsh decisions in the best interest of the business, because of the ramifications it has on ‘nice people’. You need to control your desire in having to care for others. You’re not in such position until you care for yourself first. Then you can extend that privilege to those who deserve it & lead them. Empathy is the enemy of contest, which is a precursor to success.
Its okay to feel empathy, its not okay to show it.
Manipulation is one of the main psychopathic traits to learn. You are being manipulated when a request makes little sense and is accommodated with emotions. Psychopaths seek to manipulate you by evoking sympathy and play victim if you refuse. They would also rejoice if you ask for a favor, only to leverage it against you after. Psychopaths avoid to rationalize because it exposes their manipulations. There will be very little objectivity in their argument of request.
Manipulation works best on emotional people. You have to understand emotions if you want to manipulate. Look at the emotional state of people, whether they’re in a happy or a sad state. Each mood has its own advantages. If you can’t manipulate other people, you’re a victim of anyone who can. Learn the empathy triad and exercise it at will to maneuver & influence others. And identify when it’s being used against you;
Cognitive – To get people to do tasks you want to do that pertain risk. – Most ideal for happy state.
Emotional – To bond with others to reveal weaknesses in order to leverage. – Most ideal for sad state.
Compassionate – Best used by instigating a problem, sympathizing with reaction, & then offering an ideal solution. – Best used if you want to have leverage on someone or make someone owe you one.
Observe those who are easily irritated and emotional. They are the easiest to apply the empathy triad on & manipulate. Never get irritated yourself. Remain objective, calm and goal-orientated. If you expose your emotions, you are subject to manipulation.
You can never offend a psychopath or get under his skin. He will never take anything personally and remain focused on his objective. Treat compliments & insults the same. The former is to make you complacent. The latter is to throw you off. No one should know what bothers you and what doesn’t.
If they do, that means you are indicating interest; that you prefer something over something else. This could expose you to those who have control of what you’re interested in, making you pay a high price before giving it.
Psychopaths never reveal their interest. They in fact display behaviors that goes against their interest just to mislead others. This is paramount to negotiation & getting what you want. Act as if you’re outcome independent. When you show interest, you are taking a position. When you show conviction to a position, you become entrapped. The more conviction, the more entrapped you are, the more your position can be leveraged against you. Hide your true interests when negotiating.
It’s an art to exhibit a behavior that goes against want you’re truly interested in, yet stealthily get closer to your true objective. Every negotiation, every action you make should yield maximum self-interest. But nobody needs to know. Your positional ascendancy will almost always come at the cost of someone else’s.
Don’t think they wouldn’t throw you under if they get the chance themselves.
Use leverage to weaken people’s position if they are willing to do the same to you. Your competence is your strength that can leverage them to a choke hold. Their weaknesses are opportunities to exploit & leverage to your means. If you know they act in bad faith, don’t confront them. Be patient & befriend them. Share false vulnerabilities to create a covenant of trust & loyalty, then leverage their own vulnerability to force them into subordination.
Leverage works best if you have something over someone. If you don’t, you can use the compassionate empathy triad to create the model of problem, reaction, solution. I have effectively used this model many times with rich arrogant customers. It’s not difficult to artificially create a problem within your domain, observe a clients reaction, which exposes their interest, then offering a solution that makes them owe you one. This model is called Hegelian dialectic, and it is being used at the very top end of organisational hierarchies.
Charm is probably one of the most important psychopathic traits to develop, because appearance and how you carry yourself is highly looked upon in society. Charm is the vehicle used to deliver all the methods of manipulations and leverage. It disarms your victims while at the same time exposing their weaknesses.
-Give compliments when they least expect it
-Tell them what they want to hear
-Fake a vulnerability to bond
-Seek consensus over truth
-Don’t get offended, ever
-Pretend to care & listen
Remember that those who ascend in competitive fields, concern themselves with human capital, value exchange & leverage. They lack emotions, & yet have the ability to use them to counter-manipulate others to their end. If you can’t do this, you’re a victim of anyone who can. No exceptions. Have a read of this Twitter THREAD I posted a while back with regards to this topic.
- Suppress your emotions | see shadow integration method HERE | and expose other peoples emotions
- Suppress empathy, show no remorse and be compassionate to those who genuinely need it
- Apply the Empathy Triad to manipulate those against you, to do tasks, expose weaknesses & leverage
- Find a way to stealthily work towards your interest, yet publicly exhibit an opposing interest
- Learn to be charming